Russian Foreign Minister: "The current crisis in the settlement process in Libya is not a reason for unilateral decisions"

28 April 2020


The current crisis in the settlement process in Libya is not a reason for unilateral decisions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, commenting on the statement of the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar.

"Now we are faced with the repetition of the outcome of the Berlin conference, during which, I remind you, the President Putin specifically asked whether the document is supported by conflicting parties, especially by Haftar and Sarraj.  We were told that this was a task that would be solved later. But we warned that without the explicit consent of the Libyan parties, there was a little chance that these agreements reached among external players would be viable. Unfortunately, this was confirmed. But this does not mean that the conflicting parties should now make aggressive statements, announce some unilateral decisions and refuse to conduct an inter-Libyan dialogue," the Minister said at a press conference following an informal BRICS Council meeting in the format of a videoconference.

Haftar on Monday announced his withdrawal from the political agreement concluded in Morocco in 2015 under the auspices of the UN. He also said that the power in the country would transfer to the army.

The creation of the GNA of Libya became possible after the signing of the so-called Skhirat agreements in 2015, following the results of inter-Libyan negotiations in the Moroccan city of Skhirat. The document was supposed to lay the foundations for a political settlement in the country, but these decisions were never implemented, despite the efforts of external sponsors (Tunisia, Italy, Algeria) and UN Special Representatives.

"We have contacts with all the actors in the Libyan conflict without exception, including the General, Marshal Haftar, and the Chairman of the Presidential Council Sarraj, and the head of the Parliament, Aguila Saleh, and other figures, including the leadership of the State Council. Many structures were created there in accordance with the agreement concluded in Skhirat in December 2015," Lavrov said.

"At all stages of the settlement of the Libyan crisis, during all the initiatives that our French colleagues, Italians, and the United Arab Emirates have shown at various times, the Berlin conference was recently convened – at all stages of these events, we warned of the need to, first of all, convince the conflicting parties to agree on what conditions they could solve the problems of their country, whose statehood was destroyed, let me remind you, in 2011, absolutely illegally by the aggression of the North Atlantic Alliance," the Foreign Minister added.

"I will note the statement that was made recently, but which for some reason didn't attract most media attention-the statement of the Chairman of the Parliament in Tobruk, Aguila Saleh, who called for a national dialogue, who spoke out for this dialogue to be aimed at the formation of generally acceptable authorities that would evenly ensure the presence of three key regions of Libya," Lavrov said at a press conference.

Lavrov also separately raised the issue of the appointment of the UN Special Representative for Libya: "The position of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the Libyan settlement has been vacant for several months. Ghassan Salame, who put a lot of effort into fulfilling his mandate, but unfortunately these efforts were not successful, has resigned and the post has been vacant for almost two months. I believe that it is absolutely necessary for the UN Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Gutteres, to appoint a new Special Representative as soon as possible, " Lavrov concluded.


Photo: imago images / Xinhua / TASS